How To Finish Garage Walls
Flooring And Wall Finishes

How To Finish Garage Walls


How To Finish Garage Walls: Finishing garage walls is a rewarding and practical home improvement project that enhances the overall functionality and aesthetics of your garage space. Often overlooked, the garage can be transformed into a versatile and organized area with the right finishing touches. Whether you plan to convert it into a workshop, home gym, or simply desire a cleaner look, finishing the walls is a crucial step.

The first and essential aspect of finishing garage walls is thorough preparation. This involves clearing out the garage, removing any existing fixtures, and assessing the condition of the walls. Repairing any cracks, holes, or damaged areas is vital before moving forward. Once the walls are smooth and sound, you can begin the transformation process.

There are various methods to finish garage walls, each with its own benefits. You may opt for plywood wall traditional drywall installation, which provides a smooth and professional appearance. Alternatively, using wall panels or specialized garage wall systems can offer durability and added storage solutions.

How To Finish Garage Walls

What is the cheapest way to finish a garage wall?

Plywood, medium-density fiberboard (MDF) and oriented strand board (OSB) are expedient and low-cost solutions for garage walls. One of the most economical options is to paint the walls. A coat of paint can significantly improve the look of the garage and cover up minor imperfections. Choose a paint color that complements the space and enhances its overall appeal.

Another budget-friendly approach is to use plywood or OSB (oriented strand board) panels. These materials are relatively inexpensive and easy to install. While they may not offer the same smooth finish as drywall, they provide a rustic and functional look, especially suitable for workshops and storage areas.

Additionally, you can consider using beadboard or wainscoting panels. These materials add texture to the walls and can be an affordable alternative to expensive wall paneling options.

If the garage walls are in decent condition, you can leave them as they are and focus on decluttering and organizing the space instead. Utilize pegboards, hooks, and shelves to create a neat and efficient storage system.

What is the best way to finish a garage wall?

The best material for finishing garage walls is usually considered to be drywall. It increases the fire resistance of walls and is easy to install. However, you do have another garage wall covering option. Oriented strand board (OSB) can be screwed to the wall framing, but does not require taping and finishing.

The best way to finish a garage wall depends on your specific needs, budget, and preferences. However, a popular and effective method is to use drywall. Drywall provides a smooth and professional finish, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a clean and polished appearance. It’s relatively affordable, readily available, and can be installed by DIY enthusiasts or professionals.

Another option for finishing garage walls is using wall panels or specialized garage wall systems. These solutions offer added durability, resistance to moisture and impact, and often come with integrated storage options. While they might be more expensive upfront, they can provide long-term benefits and an organized, functional space.

What is the best material for garage walls?

Plywood or OSB board: Wood walls make a durable option for garages: They can take a beating from teenagers carelessly backing out the family car and are strong enough to hang tools and equipment without worrying so much about studs. They also help absorb sound. The best material for garage walls depends on your specific needs and preferences. Several options are available, each with its own set of advantages.


Drywall is a popular choice for finishing garage walls due to its affordability, ease of installation, and smooth appearance. It can be painted or textured to match your garage’s overall aesthetic. However, it may not be the most durable option, especially in a busy garage environment prone to impacts and scratches.

Plywood or OSB

Plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) is a sturdy and cost-effective option, providing good insulation and resistance to wear and tear. It can be painted or stained, and some people prefer its rustic appearance for a workshop or storage area.

PVC Wall Panels

PVC wall panels offer excellent moisture resistance, making them ideal for garages in humid climates or prone to water exposure. They are durable, easy to clean, and can withstand impacts, making them suitable for high-traffic garages.

Slatwall Systems

Slatwall systems are versatile and practical, as they allow you to hang tools, equipment, and storage accessories directly on the walls. They are often made of durable materials like PVC or metal, providing a customizable and efficient storage solution.

Ultimately, the best material for your garage walls will depend on your budget, desired level of durability, and intended use of the garage space. Assessing your specific needs will help you make an informed decision and create a functional and visually appealing garage that suits your requirements.

Should you finish garage walls?

Many garages aren’t being used for their primary function – parking vehicles. A messy, unfinished garage embarrasses a sizable number of homeowners. Garages are the most valuable storage space in a house. Whether or not to finish garage walls depends on your specific needs, preferences, and how you intend to utilize the space. Finishing garage walls offers several advantages that can significantly enhance the overall functionality and appearance of the area.

Firstly, finishing garage walls provides a cleaner and more aesthetically pleasing look. It can turn an otherwise rough and utilitarian space into a polished and inviting area. This is particularly beneficial if you plan to use the garage for activities beyond car parking, such as a home gym, workshop, or hobby room.

Secondly, finishing the walls can improve insulation and temperature regulation. If you live in regions with extreme weather conditions, insulating the garage will help maintain a more comfortable environment, saving energy and making it suitable for year-round use.

Additionally, finishing garage walls offers an opportunity to add storage solutions. You can install shelves, cabinets, or hooks to keep tools, equipment, and other items organized, maximizing the garage’s utility.

What finish is best for the garage?

The sheen needed for garage walls is also important to note. Semi-gloss or satin finishes are the best choices as they’ll provide a cleanable surface and just enough reflection to camouflage inevitable imperfections like dents, screwheads, and uneven texture.

Choosing the best finish for the garage largely depends on your specific needs and preferences, as well as the purpose you intend to use the space for. Several finishing options are commonly considered, each with its own set of advantages:

Drywall is a popular and versatile option for garage walls. It provides a smooth and clean surface, suitable for painting or applying wall treatments. Drywall offers a professional appearance, making the garage feel like an extension of your living space.

Wall panels, often made of PVC or other durable materials, are an excellent choice for those seeking a more robust and easy-to-maintain finish. These panels are resistant to moisture, stains, and dents, making them suitable for high-traffic garages or areas where additional protection is required.

Specialized garage wall systems combine various elements like panels, hooks, shelves, and cabinets to create an integrated storage and organization solution. These systems are perfect for maximizing space efficiency and keeping your garage clutter-free. If you prefer a simple and budget-friendly finish, painting the garage walls is a classic choice. Opt for high-quality, washable paint that can withstand the demands of the garage environment.

Insulation: While not a visible finish, adding insulation to your garage walls is essential if you intend to use the space as a living area or workspace. Proper insulation helps regulate temperature, making the garage more comfortable throughout the year.

Can I install drywall on my own, or should I hire a professional?

While installing drywall can be a DIY project, it requires some skill and precision. If you have experience with similar tasks, it’s feasible to do it yourself. However, for optimal results and to avoid potential issues, hiring a professional may be a better option.

Whether you can install drywall on your own or should hire a professional depends on your DIY skills, experience, and comfort level with home improvement projects. Installing drywall can be a manageable task for some individuals, but it does require attention to detail and precision to achieve a professional-looking result.

If you have prior experience with DIY projects, basic carpentry skills, and the necessary tools, you may feel confident in taking on the task of installing drywall in your garage. There are plenty of online tutorials and resources available to guide you through the process.

However, if you’re not familiar with construction work or lack confidence in your abilities, it might be wiser to hire a professional drywall installer. Experienced contractors have the expertise to handle challenges that may arise during installation, ensuring the finished product is of high quality.

Can I use the garage walls for storage after finishing them?

Yes, you can. Depending on the finishing method chosen, you may have options like wall-mounted hooks, shelves, or specialized garage wall systems that provide ample storage solutions. Finished walls also protect stored items from moisture and dust.

Yes, after finishing the garage walls, you can definitely use them for storage. In fact, properly finished walls often enhance the garage’s storage capabilities and make it a more organized and functional space. Here are a few ways you can utilize the finished garage walls for storage: Install hooks, pegboards, or wall-mounted racks to hang tools, gardening equipment, sports gear, and other items. This keeps them off the floor and easily accessible.

Add shelves or cabinets to the walls for storing smaller items, such as paint cans, cleaning supplies, or automotive tools. Cabinets with doors can help keep your items neatly concealed. Wall-mounted bike racks are a space-saving solution for storing bicycles, keeping them out of the way and protected.

Properly finishing the garage walls helps protect your stored items from dust, moisture, and potential damage. It also contributes to a neater and more visually appealing storage space, making it easier to find and access what you need. By taking advantage of the available wall space, you can optimize your garage’s storage potential and create a clutter-free and well-organized environment.

How long does it typically take to finish garage walls?

The time required for this project varies depending on the complexity of the finishing method and the size of the garage. Simple painting or using wall panels might take a few days, while installing drywall and applying multiple coatings may extend the process to a week or more. Proper preparation and attention to detail will ensure a successful outcome within the estimated timeframe.

The time required to finish garage walls can vary significantly depending on several factors, such as the size of the garage, the chosen finishing method, the complexity of the project, and the experience of the person undertaking the task. Here’s a general overview of the time it might take for different finishing options:

Painting the garage walls is one of the quickest and simplest methods

Depending on the size of the garage and the number of coats required, this project could typically be completed within a day or two. Installing wall panels can be relatively fast, especially if they come with an interlocking or adhesive system. Depending on the complexity and size of the garage, this could take a day or two to complete.

Drywall installation is more time-consuming and may require several days to a week, depending on the size of the garage and the number of walls to be covered. Additional time is needed for joint taping, mudding, and sanding to achieve a smooth surface.

Installing specialized garage wall systems that include panels, shelves, hooks, and cabinets may take a bit longer, depending on the complexity of the system and the customization needed. This could range from a few days to a week or more. Keep in mind that proper preparation and planning are essential to avoid delays and ensure a successful outcome. Additionally, if you encounter any unexpected challenges during the project, it may extend the completion time. For the most accurate estimate, consider consulting with professionals or experienced DIYers who have tackled similar projects.

How To Finish Garage Walls


The choice of finishing materials, such as drywall, wall panels, or specialized garage wall systems, will depend on your preferences, budget, and desired level of durability and storage solutions. Each option brings its unique advantages, and it’s essential to select one that aligns with your specific needs.

Incorporating insulation into the finishing process enhances the overall comfort and energy efficiency of your garage, making it a more versatile space for various purposes, from a workshop to a recreational area or additional living space.

Ultimately, a well-finished garage wall not only provides an organized and attractive space but also adds value to your home. Whether you plan to use it for personal activities or as a selling point in the future, the effort invested in finishing the garage walls will prove worthwhile.Additionally, you might consider adding insulation to regulate temperature and improve energy efficiency. This step is especially important if you intend to use the garage as a living space or frequently access it during extreme weather conditions.